The long and winding road to fitness, day 116

“Fruit Basket”, oil on wood

Image via Wikipedia

At least I woke up on time today.  Checked that alarm several times before I went to sleep.  It was another one of those days when I felt like I didn’t really get a lot done, but I guess I did.  Of course, there’s always so much to do at work that I never feel like I’m ahead. (And believe me, I’m not)

I had a nice little visit with a couple of long-time friends (how’s that, Margaret?  I didn’t say old friends.) today.  That’s one of the perks of my job, people can come in and chat with me while I work.  My best friend from grade school, junior high and high school(Cindy) was in the store today.  Oh my, did we ever get up to some mischief when we were kids.  She asked me if I remembered backing into the light pole at her parents’ house when we were in high school.  Well…no, I’d managed to forget that…until you reminded me, thank you very much!!  I didn’t realize that she was now living in the house where she grew up (man, do we have some fun memories associated with that house).  All of our parents are now gone, it just doesn’t seem like we’re that old.  But we are…and life goes on…we make the best of it and try to create new traditions while honoring the old ones.  She wanted to know what I was doing for Christmas…how sweet is that?  I’m truly blessed with good friends in my life.  Now back to the healthy living aspect of the blog (although I tend to think that having strong, loving relationships is also part of living a healthy life).

I did do strength training and stretches before work, walked for 25 minutes and then whatever I did at work.  I need to get back on that exercise bike sometime soon.  Seems like I’m always so tired and can’t manage to get enough sleep.  Bad habits…

I was thinking about what I can do to kind of kick-start my whole fitness, healthy living thing with the understanding that I’m going to be too busy for the rest of the year (working in retail does that to you) to make any commitments that are going to require a lot of time.  So my thought was to simply aim for at least five fruits and veggies every day and some form of exercise every day.  I think that’s do-able and won’t really involve any more time than I’m already putting into it.  Then, after the first of the year, when things calm down a little, I can focus more on other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

So, obviously I managed to get the exercise in.  The five servings of fruits and veggies?  Hmm…not quite there yet.  I may drink a quick glass of V8 yet this evening to get me to five for the day.  No, not “I may”…uhuh…I’m going to do it.  Don’t want to miss my goal on my first day.  I’ve got a big Honey Crisp apple that I think I’ll take to work tomorrow.  I think an apple that size would count for at least two servings of fruit.  So have that with a little peanut butter for a morning snack and I’ll be well on my way to five!

Do you eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day?  Which do you like more, fruit or vegetables?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 89

Writing

I had a pretty good day today even if it was truck day.  It seemed like everyone really worked hard and got a lot done.  I kind of got to switch my normal truck day job for a different job today and that made all the difference…made the day go a little quicker…I guess being able to do something that gets you out of your normal everyday rut can be a good thing.

I walked for 30 minutes this morning (plus who knows how much walking I did at work…I’ve got to dig out one of my many pedometers so I can keep track of all of the walking I do at work daily), lower body strength training, and quite a bit of stretching…may throw in some additional stretching tonight to ease the muscle tension in my back and shoulders.

My eating was okay as far as the calories go, but it wasn’t the healthiest of diets for the day.  I had oj and vitamins before running out the door this morning, string cheese at around 9am, 1 Twinkie (shared the package with my boss), a fish sandwich and iced tea for lunch along with about 8 french fries that my boss threw in the fish box from his lunch, dinner was a bowl of vegetable beef soup and a whole wheat bagel thin…a little under 1500 calories for the day.  Could have gone with more fruit and veggies, how many days have I said that?  How many more days am I going to say it?

I have the day off work tomorrow…woohoo!!  I’ve got an appointment to get my hair cut…something I definitely need after cancelling my last two appointments because of work.  Thank goodness, my stylist managed to squeeze me in at the last minute.  After my hair cut, I’m going to stop at the grocery store.  I think I’ll get some blueberries or strawberries, yogurt and lite granola and make a kind of yogurt parfait to eat at work in the mornings.  That way I’ll get another serving of fruit.  Maybe pick up some more V8 juice to get another serving of veggies.  Those are both pretty simple ways to up my fruit and veggie intake.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, tonight I’m celebrating a 100 day streak of daily writing!  Can you believe that?  Got the habit going, now it’s time to really work on the story for my book.  Tonight I planned out how to do that over the next 100 days.  I’m pretty excited about that.  It feels like I’m making real progress toward finishing my book…and then, who knows? 

What have you done to make  a longtime dream become reality?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 79

Cabin and Fog

Image by Bob Jagendorf via Flickr

This was a good day as far as exercise and eating goes, everything concerned with work?  Well, that’s another story.  It was crazy busy today and that kept me from accomplishing much of anything and we have so much we need to get done.  Just take a deep breath, it’ll happen.  Just not today.

For exercise, I walked and did lower body strength training this morning before work.  Then I rode the exercise bike this evening.  I was never so thrilled as I was when the timer went off tonight…okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but you know what I’m saying.  That’s why I like to work out before work, because I’m always just so darn tired after work.  But I did it…good for me~

I ate exactly what I’d planned, nothing from the vending machine.  I have to admit, one time I walked back into the break room and would have bought something from the vending machine but I didn’t have any ones in my pocket.  That’s one way to avoid buying that stuff, just don’t keep any money on you.  So I just sat down and talked for a few minutes.  That was just as good as chocolate…hahaha!!!

The temps here have finally cooled down.  I actually wore a jacket to work this morning.  And needed it.  I think it’ll be down in the 50s every night this week and just in the 70s during the day.  I love this!

Well, tonight it’s going to be early to bed for me.  We have a truck tomorrow and I need some sleep.  I hope you all are having pleasant weather as well as pleasant dreams!

On blueberry muffin hill

Blueberry muffins…yum!  Who doesn’t like a good moist blueberry muffin?  But don’t most of us also want something that’s at least somewhat healthy?  I try to make my muffins from scratch using whole grains and fresh fruit, but when time is short (or I’m feeling kind of lazy) I’ll resort to the boxed muffin mixes.  Fortunately I found this…

Is it as good for me as what I would make using one of my healthier recipes?  Mmm…no.  Is it better for me than something sweet and sugary from the vending machine?  You bet it is.

These muffins, baked according to the package directions, still have 210 calories per muffin.   I make them smaller by making 18 instead of 12 and that reduces the calories to 140 apiece.  This is just one more indication that what we now consider to be a serving size is much larger than it was in the past.  So I still get to enjoy a freshly baked muffin without going overboard on calories.

Can I make a lower calorie, healthier-for-me muffin?  Yes, I can.  But there are times in life where we make trade-offs, this is one of those times…calories for convenience.  I don’t do this all the time, but it’s nice to know I have the option.  Now I have a good supply of muffins in the freezer.  I can pull one out in the morning, put it in my lunch bag and it’ll be thawed and ready to eat for my morning or afternoon snack.  If that can keep me from putting that dollar in the vending machine, I think it’s worth it. 

How to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store

Grains in bulk

Image by RahelSharon via Flickr

Okay, everyone knows you should always shop with a list…and stick to it…no impulse purchases.  Plan your meals and snacks for the week, then make sure you buy everything you need for them so you’re not tempted when you have to stop at the store to pick up that jar of cumin that you need.  

Never, ever shop when you’re hungry.  Same goes for when you’re exhausted.  Shopping when you’re either hungry or tired (or even worse, when you’re both)  will cause you to pick up whatever looks good, whether or not it’s good for you. 

Don’t cut out coupons for junk food.  If you have coupons, you’ll be more tempted to buy it because, well…because it’s such a great deal.  And who among us can resist a good deal?

Try a new fruit or veggie every week.  Or a new, healthy recipe.  The more healthy food you have on hand, the less likely you are to reach for the junk.

Buy whole foods…food your grandmother would recognize.  Chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a product, it’s not something your grandmother would have eaten.  I do make exceptions to this rule.  My grandma never ate yogurt or soy or Mexican or Italian food…but I think she would have at least been familiar with the ingredients used in them.

Plan to do some cooking.  You know, real meals.  Not stand at the kitchen counter and eat meals, but the sit down at the table with silverware and napkins meals.

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always recommended by experts.  That’s pretty good advice.  Usually your produce, meat, and dairy are on the perimeter of the store.  But the freezer section is also a great place to find some healthy choices..just avert your eyes from the ice cream and pizza when you walk by…quickly walk by.

Do some of your shopping at health food stores where you can purchase a lot of your staples in bulk.  That can save you money and help you avoid temptation by allowing you to make fewer trips to traditional grocery stores.  And these staples are great to have on hand when you decide to create your healthy go-to meals.

And my number one most effective way to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store is to simply not go to the grocery store.  Yes, I’ve discovered that I often go to the grocery store just because it’s Saturday (or whatever day is grocery shopping day for you), not necessarily because I need anything.  I was planning to go to the grocery store today and looked at what I actually needed (nothing).  Then I questioned myself about why I needed to go to the store if I didn’t need anything and wouldn’t need anything for several days.  I realized I was thinking about buying pizza and ice cream, neither of which do I need from a health stand point.  So not going to the grocery store today kept me from buying any kind of junk food at all…and saved me some money on top of that.  Not bad, huh?

What are your tips for avoiding junk food purchases?

 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 64

A tree of Pyrus pyrifolia in bloom

Image via Wikipedia

Another good day today.  At least I finally managed to get more than a few hours of sleep, right at seven hours last night.  I’m aiming for the same tonight.  That makes the entire day better.

I ate well today…finished the day just under 1700 calories, walked for 35 minutes, plus lots of action at work.  I didn’t realize, until I was already home, that I ate exactly what I’d planned to eat all day.  No vending machine stuff, no candy…yea me!!

I ate that Asian pear today.  Sorry to say, that fruit isn’t making it on to my favorite fruits and veggies list…it was okay, but that’s about it.  Kind of mild tasting like all pears I’ve ever eaten.  It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.  Give me a slice of melon or a juicy ripe peach any day.  But at least I tried something new.  Maybe I’ll go for a new veggie next week, since that seems to be what I have the most trouble eating adequate amounts of.  Any suggestions?  What I should probably really plan to do is try out some new recipes for veggies…something to look into, right?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 38

I had the day off work today.  Did I accomplish anything?  Hmm…the answer to that would be “not much”.  I ordered a smart phone (my first) and it came today.  I’ve been playing with it all afternoon. 

Let’s see, I’ve managed to log in to Facebook, WordPress, my email, take pictures, oh yeah, and make phone calls…not too long ago, that was the primary purpose of a phone, wasn’t it?  Paging through the manual, I almost feel overwhelmed with all of the options and apps available.  I know, I know…there’s no law that says I have to learn it all today..but I’m impatient that way…I want to know it all right now!!

I ended up cancelling my appointments today…hair stylist and eye doctor.  I woke up in so much pain, I could hardly walk.  Took some drugs and went back to bed for a little while.  When I woke up, I felt a little better, but not well enough to venture out very far.  I did something to my knee at work yesterday…I can’t really figure out what, but all of a sudden, I had a sharp pain in the inner front portion of my left knee.  I almost couldn’t walk.  It eased up, but was still hurting when I went home.  Today it’s stiff and still a little sore.    So, who knows?  Hopefully I’ll feel totally recovered tomorrow.

I didn’t do much exercising today…some upper body strength training. 8 exercises, 2 sets of each.  I tried the exercise bike, but it bothered my knee.  I figured I was probably better off skipping it today….you know, the whole “live to fight another day” thing.   My eating was pretty good though.  I had not quite 1500 calories for the day.  I’m taking a veggie sub to work tomorrow…I make a pretty good one using a whole wheat sub bun and lots of different veggies.  I think I may use one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on it tomorrow.  I’ve still got to cut up the cutest little watermelon…

Of course, how can you really tell how small this watermelon is in this picture?  Duh…I hope it tastes good…I love summer melons.

Do you ever get discouraged with the limitations of your body?  The aches and pains, the recurring injuries?  How do you deal with that?

 

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